EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday, Oct. 24 what the City is calling an Enhanced Library Card program or a community identification cards program.

According to a news release sent out by city Rep. Alexsandra Annello’s office, the cards can be used by community residents to file police reports, open a bank account, file protective orders and make tax payments.

The pilot program for the Enhanced Library Card is set to launch in April 2024.

The city will roll out 10,000 cards in the first year, but they believe the need is much greater.

Executive director of Border Network for Human Rights, Armando Garcia, said according to their prior polls there is at least 60,000 people who need this type of ID.

 “I think that is going to be a game changer for many community members,” Garcia said.

Obtaining this ID is not mandatory, but it will be available for all community members who have the proper documentation to apply.

“It is a testament to our City’s commitment to providing equitable opportunities for all, recognizing that a thriving community is built on the foundation of inclusivity and accessibility.
Moreover, the card is also meant to bring benefits and inclusivity to every El Pasoan. In addition to these crucial services, the enhanced library card will increase access to various city services, including getting discounts on Sun Metro fares and help individuals to register to recreational activities at Parks and Rec facilities. Additionally, the card will also help access WIC benefits and allow individuals access to city immunizations,” stated the news release sent by Annello’s office.

Community members will be able to apply for the card at four selected libraries starting April of 2024 by providing certain documents.

The required documentation is different than what is needed for a state-issued ID and it is based on a point system. Each document carries a certain number of points.

Residents who apply will be able to include their Sam’s Club or Costco membership card among other documents needed to obtain the municipal ID.

“I am thrilled to see the Enhanced Library Card Program come to fruition,” Annello said “This
initiative will help some of the most vulnerable populations of our community and is a testament to our unwavering commitment to making El Paso a city where every resident can pursue their dreams and aspirations. We firmly believe that by empowering our residents with this tool, we are creating a more equitable and prosperous El Paso. I want to congratulate the Border Network for Human Rights for their continued campaign on this issue and for all the groundwork and research that they have put into this over the last decade.”

Annello said she is hoping the card will eventually hold additional benefits such as free museum entrances and discounts for local businesses.